Nelson Public Library calls for assistance with provincial campaign

The campaign, $20 million in 2020, would see a two per cent increase in funding


The Nelson Public Library is asking anyone who values library services to get on board a campaign to see provincial funding to libraries increased.

The campaign, $20 million in 2020, would see a two per cent increase in funding — the first increase in a decade. Supporters are asked to submit a letter of support to the B.C. government’s select standing committee on finance and government services consultation for the Budget 2020. Deadline for submissions is Friday, June 28 at 5 p.m.

“Two per cent is really a modest goal considering what libraries provide now, and the increase in demand we are expecting to see as libraries increasingly become the social, creative, and educational hubs of their communities,” says Nelson Public Library chief librarian Tracey Therrien.

“The increase is essential if we want to maintain what we currently offer and support future needs of our residents. Strong community engagement in this campaign could make all the difference.”

British Columbia has 71 public libraries with 241 service locations in which more than 15.6 million items are available to borrow. In 2017, 52 million items were checked out, and libraries offered 74,000 programs to the public, attended by 1.74 million people. B.C. libraries have 3,600 computers available for public use.

The Nelson Public Library in 2018 saw more than 146,000 visits, and offered 5,295 programs to 6,752 participants, in addition to outreach programs to seniors and rural residents. On-site computers were used 22,402 times, and people accessed online databases and downloaded e-Books and e-Audiobooks a combined total of more than 50,000 times. Library programs are for all ages, from wee ones to teens to seniors, offering community connection, learning, and skill-building, all of which contribute to a stronger community.

“The research is there,” says Therrien. “Public libraries offer an incredible return on investment. Studies by a number of Canadian public libraries have found returns of four to seven times for each dollar put into the local public library. Each year we facing increasing barrier as costs go up, but provincial funding has not. We need to address this if we are to address the growing demand for these important services.”

Although the City of Nelson has provided inflationary increases over the years, provincial funding has remained stagnant since 2009, a situation that has become unsustainable, says Therrien. “Libraries across B.C. are lobbying hard, but voices from our communities are essential.”

Written, audio, and video submissions to the select committee are invited at The Nelson library can offer addresses for government ministers or assistance with online submissions, and community members are invited to call 250-352-6333 for more information.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Go By Bike Week hits the road in Nelson

The event runs Sept. 28 to Oct. 4

Volunteers needed at Nelson soup kitchen

Our Daily Bread is struggling to find help

Community comes together to create outdoor classroom at Kootenay school

Brent Kennedy Elementary has a new learning space thanks to an inspired teacher Kalesnikoff Lumber

RDCK rescinds evacuation alert for properties near Talbott Creek fire

Cooler and wetter condition are expected to help crews fight fire in coming days

LETTER: Friends of Kootenay Lake should read the science

From Harvey Andrusak, former provincial director of fisheries

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Most Read